Long Sutton great grandmother’s creative streak

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It might be rubbish to some, but Phyllis Warrick will see potential for new life in every old lid and egg box.

Over the course of around 12 years, the Long Sutton great grandmother has turned items usually destined for the recycling or rubbish bin into amazing creations for her doll’s house.

The 91-year-old has used an old margarine tub for a bath, corrugated paper for radiators and for fencing, red beads for tiny tomatoes growing in the clear plastic box greenhouse, and boxes for the washing machine and spin dryer.

Phyllis, of Daniels Crescent, said: “The box came with a dint in the front and I thought ‘Ooh, that’s lovely. I can make a washing machine out of that’.”

Crafts and sewing have been a life-long hobby for Phyllis, since the days as a teenager when she suffered a breakdown and found making doll’s clothes a helpful therapy.

She says now: “Whatever I see I can do something with it. I have made a nest of tables from lids with matchstick legs, used egg cartons for chairs, cotton reels for a sink, lolly pop sticks for bunk beds and made a cabinet out of toilet roll and it’s absolutely lovely. They are so real.”

A life-time of sewing – she’s never had a lesson, but made her own wedding gown and bridesmaids dresses – has produced lots of fabric remnants for items such as rugs and cushions.

More surprising items such as lighters containing batteries have been used to make bins with lids that go up and down, and a clear plastic watch box was swiftly turned into a fish tank – naturally Phyllis managed to create ‘fish’ that appeared to be swimming in water, with the clever use of clear plastic wrapping.

In the past she has made toys and sewn tiny outfits for dolls and at one time created her own clothes.

She may be in her early 90s, but family still turn to Phyllis with little sewing jobs that need doing.

Phyllis and Claude, who died 23 years ago, had four children – Gillian, Rodney, Errol and Julian. Errol was well-known locally for his charity fundraising. He triumphed over autism to raise a staggering £34,000 over 33 years for good causes, but sadly died in 2014.